Today we're going to talk about a day of small things. To set the context of what is going on in Zechariah 4, we know that when Solomon built the temple, it was well appointed. It was covered in gold and the furnishings were made in gold. And, it stood for several centuries until Judah was carried away into Babylonian captivity.
At the end of the 70 year period in captivity, Zerubbabel led them back to Jerusalem and when they arrived the city was in ruin. When they arrived they immediately began to rebuild the temple that had been destroyed.
Turning to Ezra 3:3-4 we see they began to worship God and reinstituted the daily sacrifices and set up an altar to the Lord there. Even though there was not a temple.
While they were in captivity, other nations had been conquered by Babylon and had been transplanted to Jerusalem and Judah who stood in opposition to this worship of God.
- Ezra 3:9-11
They began to work there on the temple. A wonderful and poignant temple that wasn't as near as grand as the one that Solomon built.
- Ezra 3:12-13
The ancient men who had seen the original temple wept because they knew it wouldn't' be as beautiful as the original temple.
When the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard of the building off the temple, they came to ask to join them. But, Zerubbabel told them they had no part in the worship of God of Heaven.
When they realized they weren't going to be able to be involved they set out to thwart the temple building and were able to get the King Darius to put a stop to the building of the temple.
Their initial enthusiasm was lost, and they stopped building. Fourteen years pass. Then God raised up Haggai to encourage the people to begin building the temple.
God Can Use Small Things to Accomplish Big Things
- Haggai 2:1-9
Haggai says that the temple, though smaller, would be greater.
Zechariah arises at about the same time.
- Zechariah 4:6-10
Zechariah tells them to not despise the small things. Their world, their resources were destroyed and because their people were scattered they just didn't have the resources to do what had been done before. But, God was telling them, that He could accomplish
"“Small steps may appear unimpressive, but don't be deceived. They are the means by which perspectives are subtly altered, mountains are gradually scaled, and lives are drastically changed.” — Richelle E. Goodrich
"The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex, overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” — Mark Twain
- Proverbs 6:6-11
The ant is a small thing, but it can do mighty things. We see that big things can be accomplished by small things.
We tend to overlook the small tasks that are done. Yet, we are told that even a cup of water can be done in the name of the Lord.
- Matthew 10:40-42
There are things that are counted as great in the kingdom. And yet, discount something so simple as to provide a cup of water to someone who is thirsty.
A simple talk with someone, a stranger, might seem small consider that Jesus' conversation with the woman at the well led to the conversion of an entire town.
- John 4:27-29, 39
Though that conversation was small, yet talking to one woman, by a water well, an entire city was converted because of this conversation.
Many churches start small, even in homes.
- 1 Corinthians 16:19
Here the church in Corinth began in the home of Aquilla and Priscilla.
- Colossians 4:15
- Philemon 1:1-2
The church began in homes, it began small.
- Matthew 13:24-31
Both of these things started small, an herb, a mustard seed is tiny yet grows a large tree. And a little leaven works through the whole dough and helps it grow. This is what the church is like, starting small and growing large. Think of the difference a little salt makes.
- Matthew 5:13
A little salt can change the flavor of something. It's simple, it's small but it makes a big difference. That's why we are to be the salt of the earth.
God Works Through Simple Things to Make Foolish the Wise
- 1 Corinthians 1:27-29
God often doesn't want the mighty to accomplish His tasks.
- Matthew 11:25
God doesn't want His word to be accomplished by the mighty. Think of young David. He wasn't a mighty man when he faced Goliath.
- 1 Samuel 17:42-52
David, a young man, knew how to use a sling and stone and brought down a mighty man.
Think of the flood, it destroyed the world, yet 8 people built the ark in order to save the people.
- 1 Peter 3:20
How often has God used the seemingly weak to accomplish great things? The eleventh chapter of Hebrews shows us how God uses people to do mighty things.
- Hebrews 11:32-39
These people turned the world upside down with their faith they were small in number, but God always uses His people to accomplish His will.
- Isaiah 55:11
We think about preaching and teaching the word of God. We plant seeds. We don't know what might happen. Others water, yet God gives the increase. God's word may not seem like much, yet it is the power of God unto salvation. His word will not return to Him void.
- 2 Corinthians 12:7
God's grace is perfect, His strength is made perfect in weakness. When we are weak, we can be strong in the Lord Jesus. We can be strong in the power of His might.
"On little things the big depend.
A tiny screw does the main spring hold,
And without the aid which it doth lend,
The clock could never the time have told.
Now a rudder small will guide a ship;
Without it, 'tis but a thing adrift,
But with it, 'tis berthed within it's slip,
So the seeming small gives a worthwhile lift.
And within the Christian brotherhood,
Is there not a place and need for all?
And the humblest saint it is understood,
By presence and word may encourage all."
— Mark Mitchell
Little things, small things that the world overlooks is overlooked by men, yet God uses to fulfill His purpose.
- Matthew 7:13,14
Few will find the truth of God's word. Like water travels the path of least resistance, people do the same. Yet few people find the path that is more difficult that leads to salvation.
Jesus told His disciples to go into the world and preach the gospel to all nations. There were just 11 men, yet on the day of Pentecost thousands believed. By the time Colossians was written some 30 years later, we see that the gospel had gone to every creatures under heaven.
Think of the millions of people who lived in the nation of Israel, yet only 7000 were faithful to God.
- 1 Kings 19:18
Out of the vast numbers of people only a few were faithful.
Only a small number returned from captivity, yet this small number would re-establish temple worship.
- Isaiah 37:31-32
Out of all the Jews only a small fraction obeyed the gospel. OUt of all the Gentiles only a small number obeyed the gospel. In Revelation when they Lord mentioned the seven churches of Asia it was the small congregation of Philadelphia who was commended for their faithfulness.
I may be small and despised but there still something I can do with God's might.
- Psalm 119:141
He cares and protects even the smallest. There is a role for each of us in the church. There is something that I can do in the Lord's church. There is role for each of us.
If you aren't a member of the a Lord's body, you are also needed in the church. And, you need the Lord. The only way to have the Lord is to believe, and confess your belief, repent of your sins, and be baptized to be added to the church, Acts 2, they who were baptized were added to the church.
As Christians, it takes the involvement of all for the church to thrive. If you find that you haven't been working the way that God desires you can begin today.
If we can assist you in coming to know the Lord, or working for His purpose, please contact us.